• Looking to buy a cephalopod? Check out Tomh's Cephs Forum, and this post in particular shares important info about our policies as it relates to responsible ceph-keeping.

Bottom line for my Octo-Economy?

O. Eye

Nov 22, 2002
Because you love cephs...I love you. :P I hope you're cool with that.


I'm hunting for some kind of bottom line. In one aspect, I know it's a stupid request, but just go with it and guess how much it would cost (or has cost) you to set up a solid 'I'm happy with this' octo tank with pumps live rock (if you roll that way) - the works = turnkey package.

Then, how much per month to maintain your little paradise window to wonder?

The other morning my wife and I were having a friendly argument about my interests. I told her I'm not any more interested in 'scientific' (read that 'geeky') subjects or any more well-read about these things than the average chap. She came up later in the day and looked at my monitor. I had some great pics up that you all have posted of your hermans and such. She simply said, "No Kip, everyone spends their time reading about octopuses." That's right! She knows the proper plural! Sexy AND smart! :sly:

I'm asking this question because I want to know if I'm going to be able to do some computer/networking stuff on the side to earn the green to get this set up proper...or sell a body part :? on ebay's black-market counterpart.


All My Octo Love,

Hi Kip,

You asked how much it costs to set up a salt-water aquarium that's octopus-ready. Since I've recently done just that, I can give you some general figures. I asked octo owners and salt-water aquarium owers for a ball-park figure, and they kept coming up with $2000. That's proved fairly accurate for me, too. However, there are a lot of choices and price variation, so some people put together a system for much less (and some for much more!)

If you are interested in buying an aquarium, read Colin's Equipment List and go to the links he provides for even more information. Then you can make a list of what you'll need.

Hope this helps,
May I have 2Gs, please?

"Umm...Honey,...remember that octopus thing I was talking to you about doing...yeah...we're going to have to sell your van. Your folks can run you and the kids around, right?"

Nancy, thanks for posting. Wow, $2000. I was thinking more like a thousand bucks. Can you post some pics and give the specs of your new octo tank (1/2 because I love seeing octo tanks and 1/2 because I want to see if I might steal some of your ideas).

I may have to repost with a question that goes like, "What is the most economical way to own an octo and still have him happy?"

I've read the equipment list and have a vision floating like a dream within my bean. I'm always eager to hear what others have done recently - and would like to do differently. I check this site a couple of times a day. I am a wanna-be octo owner if there ever was one.

"There's nothing that can't be done." - A Baldwin Brother from the movie, The Usual Suspects. I will find a way!!!

Has this been pretty much what everyone else has spent on their complete 'octo rig'?

Thanks for posting!

However, if you are like me and throw aesthetics out of the window everytime when it comes to making the tank's stand look like a piece of furniture or tying up cables and stuff LOLOLOL......

I put all of my effort into what is IN the tank and have built a lot of my own stuff like stands, dont take my comments above too seriously, my stuff doesnt look too bad but I reckon that a 'budget' aquarium for an octopus (NOT SKIMPING ON ESSENTIAL EQUIPMENT) could be done for $500 or a bit less... it just depends on the effect you want.

I prefer functional but I can get away with that. Most people do prefer the tank to 'blend' in to the other furniture, or some thing daft like that :lol:

So it can be done for less, but look at it this way, once you buy the expensive stuff... thats it! Most of it can last for years and years!

I just want to remind everybody that you don't have to get everything new. Although I don't yet have an octo, my salty tanks were relatively inexpensive thanks to the classified ads in my local newspaper, rummage sales, EBay and being friendly with the fish dept. manager at my local pet store ( he lets me know if they get things in less than perfect or if there are sales on the wholesale end that he can order stuff through)
Also, nobody said you have to buy everything at once. Although you will need it all before you can get your octo, it might fit your budget better to just get one peice of equipment every few weeks until you can get it started.
I may not be an octo owner, but I'm darn thrifty. :biggrin2:
Hi Kip,

I'm working on an article about my purchasing and setting up my tank, because there is too much information to put here in message. But, I did start with the idea that I could buy everything for about $600 - that was before I started checking around on the web and visiting aquarium stores and finding out more about salt-water aquariums.

Yes, I'm sure you can put together a good system for much less than $2000, but it will require some looking and some flexibility. You have lots of options.

Two things that surprised me in my investigations were the cost of live rock (and the amount really required) and the number of pieces of equipment and accessories I turned out to need.

So good luck - keep us posted!

I simply want to do things right...the first time - to save money and frustration. After doing a lot of reading I had planned on purchasing two Iwaki pumps (one for skimmer and one for return) and an AquaC EV-120 or 180. I was going to go with the Iwaki because of reliability, low noise, and I thought external might be 'cleaner'/neater setup. These would be the most expensive components for me hardware-wise. Live rock would be the most expensive over all.

I thought I had this stuff pretty much figured out - that it was just a matter of figuring out how to get a sump/refugium under a tank that is 65 gal. (AGA) but only 36 across and 18 inches deep. Now, however, I'm reading more about having an 'air stone' and carbon somewhere in the system.

I've learned so much from all of you and will continue to do so. I'm still a ways off from buying what I need because I'm learning a ton and having a great time doing it.

I look forward to your article - please include pictures! I love the little "This Old House" type tour some guys and gals post during the construction of stands, hoods, tanks and scape. Very fun to explore.

Who here is completely satisfied with how they have their octo tanks rigged? Please share :biggrin2: what you've found your ideal to be!!!


Well, my first octopus tank was constructed on a tight budget- and I squeaked in under 300 bucks. it was a 30 gallon Aquarium bought used, I built my own stand, designed and constructed my own octo-proof lid. Filtration was a Big Fluval Canister filter, seaclone skimmer and a seastorm fluidized sand bed filter.

They're all correct though: spend the money on good equipment and it'll last forever.

Good Luck, Jimbo
Was visiting my cousin in WA last year and they brought sushi home. One of the little treats was a section of seph arm. I took it, dipped it in my water and suckered it to the side of my water glass. I don't think anyone wanted to eat it after that - I think I did after messing with it for a while.

Strange that I want a pet that I have eaten several times but never considered having alive in my house. Anyone with pet cows, pigs, or grapes (that's just sad) who can relate to how funny this feels?

Moving on...

Thanks to all who have posted. Reading your posts simply keeps my fire alive about caring for an octopus one day. I'll feel a whole lot better after knowing what I'm going to get - just having a plan - even if execution means dropping $2000.

Planning is a lot of the fun! Actually having the little beast is obviously where most of the fun is at. One day!

Thanks Again!

Hi all,

I've come across yet another way to lower the cost of an octopus aquarium. In talking with my friendly LFS, I found that a great number of people are buying salt water aquarium systems and quickly growing tired of them and the work involved - even after a couple of months. They then advertise in the classified ads to get rid of the whole system at greatly reduced prices. There have been cases where the owner will actually pay you to haul everything off! I checked, and it's true - I did find some of these ads.

Another motivation for throwing out the aquarium is the desire to get a large screen TV and put it where the aquarium is - no kidding!

Limitations are that the tank in question is within driving distance and that no copper has been used to treat the fish.

Worth checking out....

You're not kidding Nancy! This is how I scored my 75 gallon aquarium and W/D system!

Another great tip is to look for supermarkets that are going out of business- the lobster tanks are VERY expensive units with industrial size chillers. If you're in the right place at the right time, you can score one for about a hundred bucks. You could keep O. rubescens or any other cold water ceph in one. You know, given how small most octopuses remain in captivity, I bet you could keep a GPO in a large one.

Cheers, Jimbo
Ooooo! Is anyone actually keeping a ceph in a lobster tank right now or has done it in the past? That is so perfect! The we have in our Wal-Mart would be perfect. It's pretty big, but it's round and clean looking...I'm really curious to find out if anyone is pulling this off. What a creative idea!

This is just another reason I'm glad I participate in these groups!

Merry Christmas!

I got the idea from someone on the ceph list about two years ago, who had in fact scored a $3000 self contained chilled and filtered lobster tank from an out-of business supermarket for a little over $100 bucks and was keeping an Octopus rubescens in it.

These units are great for labs, but tend to be large, odd sized and ungainly, and thus not usually welcome additions to the home.

Though neat looking and unquestionably cool, it should be noted that the O. rubescens, the red octopus (one of the primary species, I understand, that winds up on rice at sushi restaurants) carries a nasty venom. Though not lethal like the little blue rings, a good sized red octo bite will paralyze a large mans arm for a week, and leave permanent neurolgical damage behind. Giant Pacifics are mind-bogglingly cool, but they are BIG and can be VERY strong. As with most large invertebrates, they also aren't terribly active unless being fed.

Cheers, Jimbo
Another tip is to phone up those companies that hire out those water vending machines for offices etc! I got my chiller for £20 and it works great! it could handle a few gallons i reckon too. It is approx 24"x12x18 and could actually do 2 tanks as it has twon inlets and outlets :smile:

Some pubs still have their old chiller lying about too.

Speaking of CephList Jim................ I havnt had a thing for ages... Is it dissolving? :?

I'm not sure what's up with the ceph list. I few of my recent submission didn't seem to go out to the community, and there's almost no or little traffic there. In fact JW was the last poster and I think he mentioned that the ceph list would be undergoing a sudden evolution- I think the human moderator system was getting on said moderator's nerves. I don't think James will let it die.

In the meantime, we do have TONMO, and FWIW, I think the whole site as well as this message board just rocks for newbies and veterans alike.
My hat's off to all those involved in making the TONMO machine run.

Cheers, Jimbo

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